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December SVC grad commissioned as army officer

by Public Relations | January 11, 2024

LATROBE, PA – On Dec. 18, Joseph Shrum, C’23, of Mount Pleasant, was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army after having received special permission to have his commissioning ceremony on the Saint Vincent College campus.Ltc. Lucas giving the Oath of Commissioned Officer to 2nd Lt. Shrum

Present at the ceremony were 2nd Lt. Shrum’s parents; close friends; girlfriend; Fr. Paul Taylor, O.S.B., president of Saint Vincent; Lieutenant Colonel Steven M. Lucas, professor of military service; Captain Kara L. Moyer, assistant professor of military service; and Dr. Eric Kocian, associate professor of criminology and chair of the Criminology Department in SVC’s Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics and Government.

“We are proud to have been a part of Joseph Shrum’s academic journey and congratulate him on his commissioning as an officer in the United States Army,” said Dr. Kocian. “We know Joseph will build upon the foundation established at Saint Vincent College and continue to serve God, our community and our country honorably. We salute Joseph, thank him for his service and remind him and so many others that ‘once a Bearcat, always a Bearcat.’”  

Ltc. Lucas opened the ceremony with a few words on his relationship with Shrum, who had been a cadet in SVC’s ROTC program in which Ltc. Lucas teaches, over the course of his time as a student at Saint Vincent.

“We absolutely need guys like [Shrum] in the Army,” expressed Ltc. Lucas. “He’s going to be a fantastic addition, and I’m definitely proud of him.

2nd Lt. Shrum and Pfc. Shrum following the first salute

“You’ve got four lietenants and a company commander, and the commander can’t watch everybody,” he continued. “So, on day one, you always have the opportunity to do the wrong thing when nobody’s looking. Every single day, maybe two or three times a day, you have that opportunity. This is the type of guy who will never take that opportunity. He’s always going to do the right thing, even when nobody’s looking.”

Following Ltc. Lucas’ remarks, he gave the Oath of Commissioned Officer to 2nd Lt. Shrum. After taking the Oath, 2nd Lt. Shrum’s parents pinned him as a 2nd lietentant in the U.S. Army. Private First Class Mathew Shrum, 2nd Lt. Shrum’s younger brother, rendered him his first salute.

To conclude the ceremony, 2nd Lt. Shrum gave his brother a silver dollar, following the tradition of a newly-commissioned officer giving a silver dollar to the person from whom they receive their first salute of their career.


PHOTO 1: Ltc. Lucas giving the Oath of Commissioned Officer to 2nd Lt. Shrum

PHOTO 2: 2nd Lt. Shrum and Pfc. Shrum following the first salute